Self-pressurized small-satellite propulsion system using supercritical phase transition

Ralf C. Boden, Shunichi Okaya, Junichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The High-Density Cold Gas Jet (HDCGJ) is a self-pressurizing cold-gas propulsion system, developed at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for use in small spacecraft. The HDCGJ aims to deliver continuous thrusting capabilities using liquid-stored, green propellants. A fraction of the gas that is generated from the liquid stored propellant is used to maintain storage pressure above critical pressure. The gas expansion, after heating to supercritical state can therefore guarantee good vapour quality, without the risk of residual liquid in the gas-side of the propulsion system or thrusters. An analysis of different propellant options is performed, on the basis of a system for use in a 50 kg small satellite, capable of delivering 5 m/s of delta-v. Out of the possible options, R-116 has good overall performance related to small storage volume, relatively low mass, and low heating power requirements. At the same time, it is non-hazardous and non- ammable, making it safe and easy to handle. Based on the performed system analysis and characteristics of the HDCGJ concept, engineering model hardware has been manufactured and is currently undergoing verification tests. Results of Bread-Board Model tests confirm the expected system behaviour and completed EM tests confirm the expected performance of the HDCGJ system. As a final point, the current state of EM development and testing is described.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication68th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2017
Subtitle of host publicationUnlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Pages9077-9088
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781510855373
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 2017 Sep 252017 Sep 29

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Volume14
ISSN (Print)0074-1795

Other

Other68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period17/9/2517/9/29

Keywords

  • Cold gas propulsion
  • Green propellant
  • Small satellites
  • Supercritical fluids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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